For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It’s hard to write about Easter. How do you fathom the brutal, torture Christ went through for us? And how do we say ‘thank you’ for His sacrifice? Easter is a wonderful holiday most of us Christians celebrate with friends and families every year. Yes, we believe Christ died on the cross for our sins. Yes, we believe He suffered, died and then rose again three days later. But, sometimes I think the Easter story gets a bit ‘routine’. We should take some time to really, deeply reflect on just how cruel and terrible Christ was treated. The gift of his sacrifice should never become something we take for granted. I have to remind myself of this, too.
Several years ago the movie, The Passion of the Christ, hit the theaters. It was hard for me to watch but it did give some idea of just how awful Christ suffered. My kids are fortunate to have a great church to attend and a Christian family upbringing. Most days, at the bus stop, I try to read my kids the verse of the day on my Bible app. I read the above verse to my boys and it sparked a conversation about ‘sacrifice’. I was talking to them about how glad I was that we don’t have to sacrifice animals anymore for our sins. We talked about how in the Old Testament times, you had to sacrifice an unblemished animal for sins- intentional or accidental sins! I said, “You know what that means, guys?” My 16 year old son matter-of-factly said, “yeah, now there are a lot more animals!” Not exactly what I was going for but…a good point! I am so thankful Christ paved the way so I can approach God directly and ask for forgiveness!
We need to remind ourselves of the events leading up to Christ’s death. Like in John 13:2…”Very truly I tell you, one or you is going to betray me.” Jesus had just washed the disciples’ feet and was troubled at the betrayal he predicted. Then in Matthew 26:38…”My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death…” The bible talks about Jesus sweating blood in Gethsemane as he pleaded with the Lord to let this cup pass. It is hard to imagine the anguish our Savior was experiencing at this time and he was totally innocent. When I really dwell on these passages, I am just overcome with compassion, who would stand by and let a totally innocent person be so horrifically tortured? We know that this had to happen, by God’s plan, so we could be saved. He was our perfect sacrifice.
Let’s remember this all year long. Not just at Easter. Yes, we say thank you to Him. We tell Him we love Him and appreciate all He does. But when we stop to think of the very real pain He felt, we are more than thankful…there are no words to describe the appreciation. Each one of us who ever lived is a sinner. In God’s miraculous plan, with his infinite grace and mercy, we can be forgiven. That is a love we cannot comprehend. But we can accept it, be thankful for it and pass the love and grace on to others. Christ paid the ultimate price. Now, when we seek his forgiveness for our sins, we can know without a doubt, we are NOT GUILTY. HE paid the debt. We are FORGIVEN!
Dear God, We cannot thank you enough for sacrificing your only son for us. Forgive us when we doubt your love, it was proven on the cross. We praise you for the gift of Christ and that he made it possible to approach you. We love you, please help us to try to treat others with the same love and mercy. Amen